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VENN-The New Home For Gaming, Esports And Pop Culture Entertainment

George Miller

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VENN-The New Home For Gaming, Esports And Pop Culture Entertainment
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Gaming industry visionaries Ariel Horn, the four-time Emmy winning producer that pioneered esports broadcast production at Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment, and Ben Kusin, seasoned entrepreneur and former Global Director of New Media at Vivendi Games, announced the creation of VENN – a new network launching in 2020 with live studios in New York and Los Angeles, aimed at gaming, esports and entertainment audiences. With $17 million in seed round funding from investors spanning multiple industries, this new post cable TV network will cater to the $150 billion global gaming industry and live at the intersection of entertainment and gaming cultures.

“Video games continue to define the culture of today’s youth. Streamers, casters, content creators, esports athletes – these are our new celebrities,” said Ben Kusin, Co-CEO of VENN. “VENN is giving this generation an overdue home and a heartbeat, with bi-coastal broadcast studios incorporating live audiences, premium production values, a 24/7 linear offering, and engaging and innovative formats that elevate and promote a culture traditionally overlooked by broadcast media.”

“We’ve been polishing our craft on global stages for years while dreaming up new ways to create memorable esports broadcast experiences,” said Ariel Horn, Co-CEO. “VENN will bring together the best and brightest talent to apply the same creativity and big-picture thinking to greater gaming and entertainment content, building a bridge from our industry into the world that surrounds it.”

The investment round is co-led by BITKRAFT, the first esports investment fund in the world with a diverse global portfolio of more than 35 companies across its two fund generations.

“It’s about time we significantly raise the bar for video content in gaming and esports. We need to elevate the stars and stories in our community and provide a better and larger opportunity for brands to reach gamers. We have no doubt that Ariel and Ben are the guys to get this job done and are incredibly excited for a new level of entertainment value in gaming and esports,” said Jens Hilgers, Founding Partner of BITKRAFT.

Additionally, VENN brings together an elite consortium of investors spanning the worlds of gaming, sports, entertainment, culture and business. Included in this group are:

–  Marc Merrill, co-founder of Riot Games
–  Mike Morhaime, co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment
–  Amy Morhaime, former head of global esports, Blizzard Entertainment
–  Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch
–  aXiomatic Gaming, a premiere esports investment group with holdings in gaming and esports properties including Team Liquid, Niantic and Epic Games
–  BDMI, a corporate venture capital arm of Bertelsmann, the global media, services, and education company
–  YuChiang Cheng, co-founder of World Golf Tour and President of Topgolf Media
–  Lifeline Financial Group, a full-service multi-family office based in Beverly Hills, representing high profile clients across sports and entertainment
–  Reimagined Ventures, the private capital group of Alec Litowitz, founder of Magnetar Capital and Cloud9 investor

“The exciting thing about VENN is its potential to expose what is so compelling about gaming culture to a wider audience,” said Marc Merrill, Co-Founder, Riot Games. “I look forward to seeing the content they create and the opportunities they’re going to open up for players everywhere.”

Designed for fans across all platforms, VENN was created as a singular media brand to unite a fragmented media marketplace. Its content will span multiple categories of entertainment, with original programming produced both in-house and with some of the biggest names and creators in gaming, entertainment, streaming, and esports.

“I’m proud to support the team at VENN on an exciting new milestone for digital entertainment,” said Mike Morhaime, Co-Founder, Blizzard Entertainment. “Having a central location for high quality content from across the industry is an important foundational step for gaming communities.”

“The explosion in gamer-driven digital entertainment over the past decade has shown that traditional models must evolve to keep up with this new audience,” said Keith Titan, Partner at BDMI. “We believe that Ben and Ariel bring the passion, experience, and authenticity critical to creating content that serves, engages and challenges the digital audience. We’re thrilled to be part of their support network as they put this bold new vision into action.”

“VENN will be everywhere the gaming audience consumes content: Streaming platforms, VOD, 24/7 linear and social networks,” said Ariel Horn. “Pioneering a truly interactive broadcast network will enable the kind of experiences these audiences demand.”

More information on VENN will be released in the coming months and you can learn more by visiting the company’s website – www.venn.tv and following VENN on social media @watchvenn.

 

About VENN:

VENN is a new 24/7 post-cable TV network aimed at gaming, esports and entertainment audiences. Launching in 2020 and broadcasting live from studios in New York and Los Angeles, VENN will be distributed across a broad range of media platforms and offer original programming produced in-house and in partnership with some of the biggest names and creators across industries.

Source: VENN

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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SVG Forms Esports Production Advisory Committee

Niji Narayan

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SVG Forms Esports Production Advisory Committee
Photo Source: weforum.org
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

SVG has announced the formation of its Esports Production Advisory Committee, composed of leading esports-production and -technology veterans. The Advisory Committee is being launched ahead of the second-annual SVG Esports Production Summit in Los Angeles.

The group is currently helping to spearhead this year’s Summit programme. Over the coming years, Advisory Committee members will help guide the direction of SVG’s esports production events, initiatives, and editorial content, as well as enable increased dialogue across this rapidly growing industry.

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WePlay! Esports to host the second Minor of the DPC 2019/2020 season

George Miller

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WePlay! Esports to host the second Minor of the DPC 2019/2020 season
Reading Time: 1 minute

WePlay! Esports will host and broadcast the second Minor of the current Dota Pro Circuit. The event will be taking place in Bukovel, a famous Ukrainian ski resort in the western part of Ukraine.

“We perceive the opportunity to host a Minor as a great honor and enormous responsibility at the same time. For the last year, we have been working hard organizing various events in Dota 2, CS:GO and other disciplines in the spirit of creativity and excitement. We want our viewers to enjoy not only the games but also an original show.Now we have a bigger challenge. We are doing our best to make esports fans happy with something extraordinary. We will keep to our basic principals, which means that the viewers should expect high production value, excellent props, funny filler content, talents in unusual costumes and much more.” – Eugene “GreenGT” Luchianenco, Head of Esports at WePlay!.Qualifiers to WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 and the second Major of the DPC 2019/2020 season will be taking place between December 01 and 06. Teams will compete for 370 DPC points, and at least one squad from every competitive region will be invited to the main event. Valve will announce the regions represented by more than one team after the end of the first Major of the current DPC season.

After the qualifiers we will have eight teams, that will be invited to the main event held between January 09 and 12. Besides $300 000 and 660 DPC points, the teams will also compete for a slot at the second Major tournament of the current competitive season.

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META Games, the Creators of Mobile Esports Management Simulators, Closes a $2 Million Seed Round Led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures

George Miller

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META Games, the Creators of Mobile Esports Management Simulators, Closes a $2 Million Seed Round Led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

META Games, the creator of esports-themed mobile games, announced today it has raised $2 million in seed funding, led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures with participation from Everblue Management, Crest Capital, and Klaas Kersting, among others. The new funding will be used to complete game development on META Games’ upcoming mobile game RIVALS, a manager game based on MOBA esports, and to begin development on future mobile games for esports fans.

Developed with the input of pro teams, RIVALS Esports Manager offers players the opportunity to watch their own team compete to reach the pinnacle of esports glory. As one of the most ambitious esports manager games on mobile, players can manage their own pro esports team, compete in PvP leagues, trade players in their roster, and create an esports legacy.  Using real-time simulation to create a highlight-reel experience of a MOBA game, players can turn the tide of the game with last-minute tactic adaptations. Future integrations will include the ability to engage with favorite professional teams and brands to acquire the best sponsorship deals and have truly authentic esports experiences that mirror the real-life scenarios.

Expanding its scope to match the variety of genres represented in the spectrum of esports, META Games’ future products look to offer specific dedicated products that cater to audiences beyond just MOBAs or FPSs. By creating a portfolio of esports-themed mobile games, META Games makes it possible for fans to engage with the specific esport and genre they are most passionate about.

“We believe esports fans deserve authentic and complementary gaming experiences that reflect what they watch every day,” said Roman Frank, CEO and Founder of META Games. “By providing players with the ability to manage a professional team they are able to get a behind-the-scenes look at how some of their favorite teams operate on their path to success.”

“The integration of our players’ favorite teams, most loved esports personalities, and most iconic brands will support an incredibly authentic gaming experience across multiple game titles,” commented Philipp Karstaedt, COO and Co-Founder of META Games. “This investment will fuel our mission to develop mobile games for the global esports community.”

“By having the most popular PC esports game genres in the palm of their hand, players now have the excitement of a pro esports coach in a snack-size, on-the-go experience,” commented BITKRAFT founding partner, Malte Barth. “Similar to traditional sports, each esports genre is distinct and has its own unique fanbase which is why META Games’ vision to bring esports-themed games to these diverse, loyal audiences is extremely necessary. We believe with this funding this strong, proven team can continue its momentum of developing mobile games that address the entire audience of esports fans worldwide.”

 

About BITKRAFT Esports Ventures:

An early and mid-stage investor focused on the esports sector, BITKRAFT discovers, supports, and scales esports startups globally along with the industry’s most influential companies. BITKRAFT Esports Ventures was founded in 2016 by esports legend, Jens Hilgers. Hilgers previously founded ESL and served as CEO before selling the majority stake to MTG in 2015. In addition to serving as Managing Partner at BITKRAFT, Jens is the Co-Founder and Chairman of G2 Esports.

 

About META Games:

Headquartered in Berlin, META Games creates mobile games for esports fans. Founded by Roman Frank, Philipp Karstaedt and Arvid Hahn in 2017, META Games currently has its first title, RIVALS Esports MOBA Manager, available in Open Beta on Google Play. With its team of industry veterans from both game development and publishing, it aims to create a full suite of mobile games catering to the entire esports audience and offering an authentic experience within a virtual esports world.

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